Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear 2010,

You have been a year filled with many memorable moments and big changes. I will never forget the good (and sometimes not-so-good) experiences you brought to me and my husband. We are grateful for all of them. Here are some of our favorites: 

  • Daniel and I decided we wanted to get married, and started ring shopping.
  • We felt the effects of the poor economy when Daniel got laid off his job in February.
  • We were very blessed when Daniel found an even better job at Workman Nydegger Law Firm less than 2 weeks later.
  • We got engaged on March 31st (and then tried to tell everyone the news the next day. The fact that it was April 1st made this a little tricky.)
  • Daniel traveled to Spokane, Washington to watch his brother Sam graduate from Gonzaga Law School.
  • I had my wisdom teeth pulled while Daniel was gone, and was quite loopy miserable the whole time.
  • I started this blog!
  • I traveled to Hawaii with my family while Daniel stayed at home. 
  • Daniel and I went to the fabulous Oakley Rodeo with our friends.
  • I buckled down with wedding plans and pinned down all the fun details of the big day.
  • I received my endowments in the Salt Lake Temple.
  • Daniel and I got married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on August 16th. It was the greatest day of my entire life, and the best decision I have ever made.
  • We traveled to Newport Beach, California for our sunny and relaxing honeymoon. It was perfect.
  • I lived on my own for the first time when we moved into our cozy apartment in Holladay.
  • Oh, and we moved into President Monson's ward.
  • Daniel took me on my very first fishing trip, and I caught two fish!
  • We discovered that our apartment was previously home to a real-life mad scientist.
  • We spent my birthday at Daniel's cabin with our friends, and I went four-wheeling for the first time.
  • I got my first haircut of the year in November. Horrible, I know...but it's true. I didn't cut my hair for 11 months.
  • Daniel and I spent our first Thanksgiving together. It was fabulous!
  • Daniel and I both successfully finished our semesters at the U of U.
  • I quit my job at the Instacare.
  • We decorated our very first Christmas tree together and had a blast.
  • We celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple, and shared it with our wonderful family and friends.

Out of all the moments, I think we can both agree that this day wins the prize for the best part of 2010.
Thank you for taking us on such a fun ride this year. We can't wait to see what next year has in store!

Much Love,

M & D

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

hungry for more...

I may have spent an inordinate amount of time reading The Hunger Games today. 

 A few of my students have been bugging me for months to read the books, but I just haven't had time. My wonderful husband gave me the series for Christmas, and I haven't put them down since!

 In all honesty, it's actually been a really long time since I've read a book that I can't put down. Okay, okay...let me rephrase that. It's actually been a really long time since I've read a book at all. (I'm not counting all the textbook chapters and articles that I have to read for school. bleh.) Today I realized that I've kind of missed being able to choose what I want read. Getting lost in a book is one of my favorite things. 

In other news, D and I are going out to dinner with my family tonight at one of our favorite restaurants - Five Alls. If you haven't heard of it, you aren't alone. It's a pretty small restaurant at the intersection of Foothill Drive and 23rd East, and I had no idea it even existed until a few years ago. I drive past that intersection quite often, but there's hardly even a sign outside their door. Inside, though, it's a whole different story. The restaurant set up Medieval-style complete with pewter cups, low lighting, and servers wearing classic Medieval clothes. The food is great too - an entire five-course meal!! Sooo delicous.

Wondering where the name "Five Alls" came from?

Well my dad would be the guy to ask, but since he's not here, I googled it for you.

"In reference to five different social groups, each characterized as an "all." The King, who governs [or rules for] all; The Bishop, who prays for all; A Lawyer, who pleads for all; A Soldier, who fights for all; and A Peasant, who pays for all." 

Now I feel a little bit more prepared in case I end up in the Cash Cab in NYC. Don't you?! 
You never know when useless trivia will come in handy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Have I mentioned yet how much I freakin' love not having school or work this week?
Because I freakin' love it. I feel like I've been able to get so much done lately that I've had to put on the back burner before. 
Want to hear what I've accomplished today? Probably not, but I'm telling you anyway.

Today I....

signed up for the PRAXIS I test (gulp...)
got a free study guide for the PRAXIS I test (thank you Marianne)
printed off my book list for next semester
found the cheapest copies of said books online
went to the ATM to get cash so I could get change so I could do laundry (I'm just not a cash person. I pretty much exclusively use my debit card. Oh, and also the ATM only dispenses 20's I guess, so I ended up with 80 quarters at the laundromat. I felt like I won the lottery or something.)
did 5 loads of laundry
hand-washed all of my stupid hand-wash clothes (seriously, I am never buying clothes that need to be hand-washed ever again.)
did the dishes and emptied the dishwasher
(finally) changed my name with the University of Utah
e-mailed and/or called about 2 of my Academic Honor Society invitations (that may have been sitting on my table for literally months.)
made our bed
straightened the living room
started making dinner
e-mailed my mom a list of things to put in a 72-hour kit (more on this to come)
and last but not least...
picked up two of my assignments from a class I took fall semester

Let me tell you about this class that I took fall semester. Some of you may have heard me vent about this already, but I am going to do it again.

So I took a class about Assessment in Special Education last semester. It wasn't a hard class, really, but our professor had never taught it before. I could tell she was very knowledgeable about the topic, but she kind of had a hard time explaining things sometimes. Just ask Alycia from Crowley Party. We had the class together, and I might have died if she wasn't there.

 Anyway. On the last day of class, we took a big final exam with 50 multiple choice questions and an essay. We also turned in a big in-class assignment. I studied very hard for the final, and turned my assignment in on time with everyone else's. I left class feeling really good about the test and the class in general. It didn't even cross my mind until I went to check my final grades on Saturday.

I had a few A's on my report card, and then my eyes fell to this class. It showed an "E." I had never seen or heard of an "E" before, and I thought it might have stood for "Exempt" or even "Excellent" or something fabulous like that. So I leaned over to Daniel to ask him what it meant. He looked kind of confused, and then told me that "E" was the letter after "D," and it was how the University of Utah listed failing grades. 


I may have had a panic attack right then and there. I knew there had to be some mistake. Our class had calculated our grades at midterm and I had an A. I had also felt really good about my final and the assignment I turned in. So I frantically checked the University's grade system called WebCT to find out what was going on, only to discover that there were no scores recorded for my assignment OR my final exam!! I was officially in freak-out mode. I knew grades were due on Tuesday (today) so I really doubted that she just hadn't had a chance to record them yet. Even so, I texted Alycia to ask her if her grade looked okay, and it did. 

Long story short, I've been e-mailing the professor for the past few days trying to get it all sorted out. She's not the best e-mail replier in the world, either (although neither am I, so I shouldn't judge). So today I went down to the Special Education office to see if she had possibly left the assignments there. Sure enough, mine were there and they were scored and complete. I'm still waiting to hear back from her about how to get them recorded. Until then, I have a legit failing grade on my transcript. The receptionist said that I'm going to have to submit something for an "official grade change" and it can take weeks. Talk about stressing me out!

Okay, sorry for the rant. I just had to get that off my chest.
Hope everyone is having a great week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

i really like this song.

So my sister-in-law Emily played this song for me the other day, and I haven't stopped listening to it since.
Is it not the most adorable thing you've ever heard?

p.s. Sorry about the cheesy music video...I couldn't find the official one. You don't have to watch it, just listen to the song. 

Merry, Merry Christmas.

Our first Christmas together was perfect. 
Absolutely perfect.

We got to spend the past few days almost entirely with our families, and we wouldn't have had it any other way!

Thursday evening until now was pretty much a blur of:

family parties
 late-night chats
 laughing too hard
honey-baked ham
gift exchanges
 cinnamon roll Christmas trees
 bows & wrapping paper
Christmas music in the car
 big breakfasts
way too many treats
 new clothes
new gadgets
 and lots of Christmas movies.
I kept telling Daniel all day how much I felt loved.

We are both so grateful for our wonderful family and friends.
We love each one of you more than we can say.

Thanks for making our first Christmas together everything we dreamed of, and more.

Merry Christmas!
M & D

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

it's not christmas without...

Sugar Cookies!!

D and I decided to get into the holiday spirit last night and whip up some sugar cookies.
I think we had way more fun making them than we did eating them.
Although, they were pretty tasty if I do say so myself.

The gingerbread man and woman are supposed to be D and I. And yes, I know it looks like a pre-schooler decorated them. As you can see, cookie decorating is just not one of our talents. To be fair, though, we didn't have a lot of materials. It was discovered after we had baked the cookies that we didn't have any food coloring. Therefore, the only frosting color we had was white. Also, the only sprinkles we had on hand were the ones shown above. That colored icing on some of the cookies was also some we already had. I think we might have gotten it as part of a wedding gift. Although it was very cute and fun to work with, I thought it tasted terrible. D, on the other hand, absolutely loved it and used it on almost all of the cookies he frosted. I thought the sprinkles were much tastier.

D and I are so excited for our very-first Christmas together! We've already finished our Christmas shopping (I say "already" because even though Christmas is in two days, this is probably the earliest I've ever been done). I love our tree with the pile of wrapped presents underneath, and I love the light-up snowflake in our apartment window. I've also loved being off work this week. I've had time to go grocery shopping, clean every last corner of our apartment, go to the gym, wrap presents, and cook yummy dinners every night. I've also had time to snuggle up with D, and watch episode after episode of "Community" since we missed the last season (curse you...Thursday night classes!) 

Hope you are all loving the holidays as much as we are!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

just an average sunday with M & D

I woke up this morning to find myself all wrapped up in Daniel's arms.

I absolutely love waking up like that.

What I didn't love was glancing over at the clock to find that it was 10:55 am. Yes, you read correctly. D and I had actually managed to sleep in until 11:00 when our church starts at - oh, wait - 11:00!!! It is so out of character for us to sleep in that late! Since we've been married, we've never had to set an alarm to wake us up on Sundays. We just kind of gradually get up on our own with plenty of time to get ready. 

After I saw the clock, the next few minutes were a whirlwind of blankets, clothes, ties, toothbrushes, mascara, and me trying to use the mirror to straighten my hair while Daniel was using it to fix his at the same time. (By the way, that last part did NOT go over well.) We got ready in about ten minutes flat, and raced out the door. We practically sprinted into church and actually made it in time for the announcements and everything. We were pretty proud of ourselves, but I imagine that we probably looked just a little bit disheveled. 

I was really glad that we had decided get ready and go to church instead of just staying home. We would have missed a pretty epic meeting. Remember how we live in President Monson's Ward? Well, it was the Christmas program today and let me tell you, they go all out. For example, the sacrament bread was homemade cinnamon bread. Awesome? Yes it was. Then the real show began. In all the wards that I've been in, the choir usually sings some Christmas songs for the program, and they add in little bit of narration in between. Not in this ward. There was a choir, sure, but they also had a full and complete orchestra on the stand!! I'm talking five or six violinists, a viola, some flutes, a some cellos, and even a few basses. Every person that made up the legit orchestra was actually in our ward, too! I was so impressed. They played and sang some of the most beautiful classical Christmas music I have ever heard. At the end of the meeting, we sang every single verse of not one, not two, but three closing hymns! The whole ward even stood up for the last one. It was crazy.

As another side note, our ward was supposed to move from the 11:00 hour to the 9:00 hour starting next year. However, our Bishop recently got a call from "downtown." It turns out that the 9:00 time doesn't really "jive" with President and Sister Monson, so we're staying at the 11:00 time for the next year.

Needless to say, D and I love our ward. It's pretty much the best ever.

Friday, December 17, 2010

happy endings.

I am so happy right now!!

First of all, D and I finished up with finals last night! Well, technically I guess it was this morning. I submitted my last 10-page term paper at 3:30 am. I put the "pro" in procrastination.

Today was also my official last day at the Memorial Clinic Instacare. Like I said before, it felt bittersweet. It might seem kind of silly to say, but that place has really become a part of me. I learned a TON working there - about insurance, the healthcare system, and a lot of useful tidbits about medical conditions. I kind of belonged behind that desk. I've also made some wonderful friends working at the clinic. Seriously, I don't think they realize how much I have loved spending time with them. I'll miss those slow moments in the day when we could just sit and chat about our lives and funny experiences we had with patients. I might even kind of miss the crazy times when we were all racing around with charts and ice packs and clipboards and forms and wheelchairs and gauze and labels and who knows what else. Don't worry though, I'll still be around. One of my managers asked if I would stay on a PRN schedule instead of a regular schedule. PRN is hospital lingo for "as needed" (do not ask me why). So if they need random shifts covered here and there, my name is still left in the pool. I'm glad I get to keep my badge, because I don't think I'd have the heart to hand it in for good.

I called Daniel on the way home from work and told him I felt as free as a bird. No more school, and no more work! (except a few students next week, but who is counting?) I have so much to catch up on. Pretty sure our apartment looks like a bachelor pad, and I am wearing clothes I didn't even know I still had because all of my regular attire is on our bedroom floor. I'm not quite sure what food we have besides Lean Cuisines and cereal, because that has pretty much been my diet lately. That, and Lindor Truffles. Curse my cute student who gave me a huge bag of them as a Christmas present...

Now, off to dinner with my cute husband to celebrate all of our happy endings.

I am so in love with this man.

Monday, December 13, 2010

things that are peppermint.

Remember my post about how much I love Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate?

Since then, I have noticed something. I kind of love everything peppermint. It's just one of those festive flavors that I totally crave around Christmas time. 

I'm currently loving this:
 Special thanks to my cute mom for giving it to us =). It's a total staple at my parent's house during the holidays. We for sure stock up.

And I also recently discovered these:
Candy Cane Hershey Kisses. 

Umm, these are the best thing ever. I think I even had a dream about them last night (that's embarrassing...). They're white chocolate with a hint of peppermint, and some teeny-tiny candy cane pieces hidden inside. This is the first year I've discovered them, and I don't know how I've lived my whole life without them! Does anyone know if they are a new thing, or if I've just been living under a rock?

Oh, and another exciting Christmas tidbit! D and I just went shopping to get gifts for the Christmas parties on my side of the family. Both sides of my family do the coolest things for gift exchanges. The Jacobsens hold the epic "Sock Exchange." That's right. We give each other socks. They aren't just any socks, though. Everyone brings a pair of the craziest, most awesome socks they can find. It's kind of white-elephant style too so you can steal other people's socks. And I really don't think anyone is ready for the socks we just purchased....

The Petersons also hold a hilarious gift exchange. We draw names like most families, but there is a catch.  You have to purchase your gift from the Dollar Store! It's such a blast to go get gifts for everyone, and I always love to see what people pick out. D and I turned up some gems for the people we drew. Get excited.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree!

I am loving everything about Christmas right now. 
But most of all, I am loving our Christmas tree! Can you tell?!
We got this fabulous tree from Daniel's parents when they got a new one this year. We're so grateful that they gave it to us! If they hadn't, and I had to pick a real one out, we might have ended up with something similar to the one on the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Haha. But seriously. D and I had so much fun putting up the tree together. We cranked up the Christmas music and got decorating!

 "Fluffing" the tree. So crucial.

 Both of our parents had given us a few of our cute ornaments from when we were kids, and we had picked out a few of our own this year too.

This is one of my favorite ornaments. We fondly call it "The Puff Bird."

This is another one of my favorite ornaments. It's kind of a special tradition in my family. An ornament just like this one was always found on my Grandma and Grandpa J's Christmas tree when I was growing up. It was a definite favorite for the grandkids. We called it "Naughty Boy," and this is why...

When you push the little button at the top of his hat, he sticks his tongue out at you! How funny is that?! My cousins and I had so much fun with it. Before my grandparents passed away, they were able to find someone who made these ornaments, and they purchased one for every single one of their grandchildren. This is the first year that I've had my own Christmas tree to decorate, so I was thrilled to finally hang it up. Each time I look at it, it always reminds me of them. 

 These are a few of our Christmas purchases from Tai Pan Trading. I love that place. It's this huge store filled with every type of home decor you could ever want. I could get very, very carried away in that store. If you haven't been there, consider this as a warning: you WILL get sucked in.

The finished product. We had to get a little creative when it came to where we put our stockings since we don't have a fireplace. However, there is a heater vent just below the table, and I figured that was as close as we were going to get. I love having our tree turned on, and we're probably going to regret it when we see the electric bill for this month since we have it on so often. It might sound silly, but I just feel like it brings the spirit of the holidays into our little apartment. It makes it feel so warm and cozy.

I hope you are all loving the holiday season as much as we are!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

late late late

(Old-school photo of D and I. Pre-marriage.)

I bet you didn't know this about Daniel, but he is almost always on time. For example, when his alarm goes of in the morning, he doesn't hit snooze. EVER!! You heard me, that is not a lie. I, on the other hand, don't know what I would do without a snooze button. His rationale is that his alarm goes off at a certain time, and he needs to wake up when it goes off so he'll have time to get ready without "scrambling." I'll admit, it sounds logical. But who even thinks that way?!?! I'm a scrambler through and through. And Daniel just patiently watches me run around the apartment like a chicken with my head cut off at 7:46 am when I'm supposed to be at work by 8:00. He doesn't even say "I told you so" or get mad at me for hitting snooze five times instead of just once.

That being said, D wasn't home from school yet when I got home from work tonight.

That stressed me out. He finishes with school way before I get off of work, so he's always home when I get there. So of course, like the crazy wife I am, I called him to see where he was. Voicemail. In addition to never being late, he also rarely doesn't pick up his phone (I know...never late and always picks up the phone? I have the best husband ever.) I thought he must be in a traffic jam, and just didn't hear his phone. I waited 5 minutes, and called again. Voicemail. Car accident scenes are now flashing through my mind. I know that was probably too far, but I couldn't help it.

I forced myself to wait like 20 more minutes before I called him a third time. No answer. So I left him one of those "where are you...I am freaking out..." messages and waited. 15 more minutes went by and I still hadn't heard from him. Yes...I called him again. Still no answer!! At this point, Daniel is almost an hour and a half late, and I am deciding whether to call Daniel's BFF John Lawrence or all of the Hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley first. I had just picked up my phone again when it started ringing. It was Daniel!! He was alive!!! I picked up the phone and the first thing I said was "I didn't know whether to call John or Hospitals!!" He about died laughing. I felt like an idiot when he told me he had just been trying to sneak in some Christmas shopping without me knowing. I might be the stupidest wife ever.

p.s. Yes, I am blogging when I am supposed to be studying for finals and writing papers. So sue me.

p.p.s And yes, D and I are also watching Nacho Libre. Pretty much no studying is getting done tonight, I can tell you that much.

Friday, December 3, 2010

this made me laugh

One of my cute students sang me this song the other day. I thought it was pretty funny, so I had to share. It's to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Dashing through the snow
On a rusty pair of skis
O'er the hills we go
Crashing into trees
The snow is turning red
I think I'm almost dead
But now I'm in the hospital
with stitches on my head!

I have no idea if she made it up or not, but I sure love my students. Haha!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I quit my job at the clinic today.

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

I'll miss the hilarious, exiting, and sometimes scary stories I'd come home with every day. I'll miss my coworkers, too. And I'll definitely miss the paycheck. I won't miss the stress, and the time it took away from school and other things.

We know it was the right decision, but that doesn't always make it any easier.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our First Thanksgiving

Our first Thanksgiving together was a blast! First, we ate a truly fantastic dinner with the Sorensens (& company). Highlights included my first-ever deep fried turkey, AND a brined turkey using the Pioneer Woman's recipe. Yum!! Later, we stopped by the Jacobsens for some dessert. I tried a sliver of all 5 pie flavors (and gained 5 lbs to prove it), and D ate way more than his fair share of my cousin Kimber's pumpkin roll.

It was a great day.

Just some photos of our day. Most of them taken by Daniel.
(He's kind of an awesome photog, huh?)

p.s. D has been so into classical music lately. Right now he's plugged into his laptop [with his big Skull Candy headphones, mind you] jamming to some symphony video he's watching on YouTube. I really hope it's for his music you think they require you to learn to lead the music with a pencil?

*update* I must apologize for speaking prematurely. I have just been informed that it is not just some symphony, it is Beethoven's Sympony No. 7 in A Major. Go ahead, see what I'm dealing with right now.

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